Committee Responsibilities

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The Texas Council for the Social Studies

Committees of TCSS: Duties, Responsibilities, and Timelines

 

Article VII

Approved October 31, 2009

Revised by Members of the 2010

TCSS Executive Committee

Fall, 2010

 

Conference Committee

 

Description:

 

The Conference Committee shall consist of a chairperson and a representative from each geographic region: North, Central, East, West, and South. This committee shall solicit bids for conference sites two to three years in advance from local councils in the designated regions on the rotation cycle. The Conference Committee will review bids and make recommendations on prospective convention sites at the fall meeting to the Executive Board.

Responsibilities:

 

1.  Maintain a record of past and future fall conference sites.

  1. Maintain multiple copies of TCSS Guidelines for Hosting a TCSS Conference.
  2. Make recommendations for revising guidelines as appropriate.
  3. Solicit bids from local councils in the designated region at least two to three years in advance of the projected date needed. Such solicitation should include a letter from the superintendent of the appropriate school district(s), and a copy of the Contract/Letter of Agreement Conference Committee Chairperson from the Guidelines for Hosting a TCSS Conference.
  4. Make personal contact with social studies leaders in the designated area to encourage submission of a bid.
  5. Screen and evaluate bids submitted. Contact persons submitting bid if deficiencies are noted. Conduct on-site visit if deemed necessary.
  6. Make site recommendation to the Executive Board at least two years in advance of the projected date needed.
  7. The Chairperson should prepare and forward reports of committee activities as requested by the Recording Secretary one month prior to fall and spring meetings.

 

Timeline for Conference Committee

 

Spring:

  1. Attend TCSS annual spring meeting.
  2. Receive leadership guidelines and suggestions from previous chairperson.

 

Mid-June:

  1. Request bids for the conference to be held two to three years following the projected sites calendar.
  2. Mail letters requesting bids to the presidents and board representatives of each of the councils in the region involved. Include copies of the following forms:

A.   Guidelines for Hosting TCSS Conference

B.   Request for Hosting a TCSS Conference

C.  Schedule of Previous TCSS Conference

D.  General Outline of Responsibilities for Local Steering Committee

  1. Set a deadline for submission of bids for early in September.
  2. Follow up with a personal contact of leaders in the areas to encourage submissions of bids.

 

August/September

  1. Contact members of the Conference Committee of the time of the leadership meeting at the fall conference to discuss selected conferences and future conference sites.
  2. Notify members of the committee and those submitting bids prior to the conference so they can arrange to be there early if necessary.

 

September/October:

  1. Attend fall conference.
  2. Hold a committee meeting for screening and evaluating bids prior to the Executive Board meeting.
  3. Allow persons submitting bid to make presentations to the committee.
  4. In executive session, committee members only, discuss and evaluate bids. Prepare recommendations for the Executive Board. Submit committee report to Executive Board for action recommending a site.
  5. Forward report of committee activities to the Recording Secretary.

 

Constitution Committee

 

Description:

 

The Constitution Committee shall consist of the Parliamentarian, who shall serve as Chairperson, and at least four (4) members. This committee shall review the Constitution to determine whether revisions are necessary and shall make appropriate recommendations to the Executive Board.

 

Responsibilities:

 

  1. Continually review the TCSS Constitution and make recommendations for any proposed revisions.
  2. Submit proposed print-ready copy of proposed revisions of the TCSS Constitution to the President.
  3. Prepare reports as requested by the President, Executive Board, or TCSS membership.
  4. The Chairperson should prepare and forward reports of committee activities as requested by the Recording Secretary one month prior to fall and spring meetings.

 

Timeline for Constitution Committee

 

January/February:

  1. Make plans to attend the spring meeting.
  2. Review current TCSS Constitution to determine if there is need to discuss or suggest possible revisions during the spring meeting.

 

March:

  1. Attend Constitution Committee meeting at the spring meeting.
  2. Establish goals for the year.

 

April/May/June/July/September:

  1. Finish any remaining work from the spring meeting.
  2. Prepare for fall conference.

 

October:

  1. Attend the Constitution Committee Meeting at the fall conference.
  2. Revisit goals for the year.

 

November/December:

  1. Finish any remaining work from the committee meeting during fall conference.

 

Curriculum Committee

 

Description:

 

The Curriculum Committee has the responsibility of making recommendations to the Executive Board on matters relating to curriculum. The Curriculum Committee shall consist of a chair and a co-chair who will serve two-year overlapping terms, the TCSS President Elect, the Curriculum Liaison(s), and at least four (4) members. The Texas Education Agency’s Director and Assistant Director of Social Studies may be invited to be ex officio members without voting privileges.

 

Responsibilities of the Curriculum Committee:

  1. Discuss curriculum matters at the fall and spring meetings.
  2. Solicit lesson plans and teaching strategies for inclusion in The Social Studies Texan.
  3. Receive reports and suggestions from other committees relating to curriculum.
  4. Request input from committee members on instructional materials.
  5. File necessary reports as required by TCSS.
  6. The Chairperson should prepare and forward reports of committee activities as requested by the Recording Secretary one month prior to fall and spring meetings.

 

Timeline for Curriculum Committee

 

January:

  1. Confer with TCSS president regarding his/her expectations
  2. Confer with outgoing Curriculum Committee Co-Chair
  3. Establish goals for the year

 

February/March:

  1. Plan agenda for spring meeting
  2. Contact Curriculum Committee members about details for the spring meeting
  3. Attend TCSS spring meeting and conduct meeting of Curriculum Committee
  4. Send Treasurer a statement of expenses, if necessary
  5. File committee report with President and send copy to committee members

 

April/May/June/July/August/September:

  1. Continue any remaining work from spring meeting
  2. Confer with TCSS president regarding Curriculum Committee activities for fall meeting
  3. Plan agenda for fall meeting

 

October:

  1. Attend fall conference; conduct Curriculum Committee meeting
  2. Secure reports from subcommittees, if necessary
  3. Send Treasurer a statement of expenses, if necessary
  4. File committee report with President and send copy to committee members

 

November/December:

  1. Continue to monitor curriculum issues at the state level

 

Membership Committee

 

Description:

 

The Membership Committee shall consist of the Vice President as chairperson, the Director of Member Services, and local council representatives. This committee shall be responsible for promoting membership.

 

Responsibilities:

 

1    Communicate with the Vice President and Director of Member Services regarding membership numbers and local council affiliation.

2.   Attend fall and spring Membership Committee meetings.

3.   Assist the Vice President, Director of Member Services, and local arrangements committee in staffing the registration booth during the annual fall conference.

4.   Provide staff for membership tables at meetings of other professional organizations.

5.   Organize and carry out special campaigns to increase membership.

6.   Consider other ways to advertise the opportunity to join TCSS (i. e., professional journals, etc.).

7.   Direct inquiries regarding status of membership to Vice President.

8.   Contact previous first-time conference participants to register for future professional opportunities offered by TCSS.

9.   Perform other functions as appropriate to the committee.

10. The Chairperson should prepare and forward reports of committee activities as requested by the Recording Secretary one month prior to fall and spring meetings.

 

Timeline for Membership Committee

 

To Come


Nominations and Elections Committee

 

Description:

 

The Nominations and Elections Committee shall consist of the Executive Secretary, the immediate Past President, and at least four (4) members. The Executive Secretary and immediate Past President may serve as the representative from his/her geographic area. The chairperson of the Nominations and Elections Committee shall be the immediate Past President. A co-chair from a geographic area different from that of the immediate Past President shall be selected from the committee membership by the President.

 

Responsibilities:

 

1.  Throughout the year, all committee members should actively encourage qualified members in each geographic area to consider becoming candidates for state office.

2.  Create a nomination form to be posted on the TCSS website so that interested members can complete necessary paperwork to be considered for elective office.

3.  Select a minimum of two (2) and a maximum of five (5) candidates for each elective office, with no more than one candidate from each geographic area.

4.  Review potential candidates to be certain that all meet the specific qualifications for serving as an officer in TCSS as outlined in the Constitution and Bylaws.

5.  Develop the slate of candidates for all offices and submit this slate to the President at the spring meeting.

6.  Solicit and collect biographical information, position statements, and photographs from all candidates and provide this information to the Editor of The Social Studies Texan to be featured in the magazine prior to the fall meeting.

  1. Prepare a ballot consisting of candidates for each office. Duplicate a sufficient number of ballots for on-site voting to take place at the fall conference.
  2. The Chairperson of the Nominations and Elections Committee should use the election ballot to create a ballot that can be sent upon request to any member in good standing who wishes to vote absentee or prior to the conference. The Chairperson is responsible for sending, receiving, verifying, and counting all absentee ballots within the guidelines of the stated last date for participation.
  3. The Chairperson should arrange with the local conference committee for a location at the fall meeting for balloting to take place. The Chairperson and other committee members should determine the schedule for voting hours which is shared with members at the conference.
  4. Committee members take turns “manning” the election table and taking charge of election materials during the fall conference.
  5. Chairperson solicits at least two “tellers” to be present while ballots are counted and the results are validated.
  6. Chairperson should notify the TCSS President of election results after ballots are counted. The President notifies all candidates of results by personal contact or by telephone.
  7. Election results are announced at the fall conference. Those elected assume office January 1st of the next year.
  8. The Chairperson sees that election materials are given to Executive Secretary for storage until the next year.

15. The Chairperson should prepare and forward reports of committee activities as requested by the Recording Secretary one month prior to the fall and spring meetings.

 

Timeline for Nominations and Elections Committee

 

January:

  1. As Chairperson of the committee, the immediate Past President contacts other committee members to start the new year.
  2. All committee members should share any information about potential candidates who have shown interest in running for office since the fall conference election.
  3. Check with Director of Media and Technology to see that a current nomination form is posted at the TCSS website.
  4. Remind committee members that self-nominating candidates must have nomination forms completed and returned to the Chairperson by February 1st.

 

February/March:

  1. The Chairperson should continue to encourage committee members to communicate via email regarding TCSS members who might be contacted to run for office. The Chairperson should continue to pursue contacting qualified members.
  2. Verify that all potential candidates meet the qualifications for elective office as specified in the TCSS Constitution and Bylaws, Article IV, sections 1 and 4.
  3. At the spring meeting, the committee meets to finalize a slate of candidates for all elective offices that will be up for voting in the fall.
  4. The committee should share the slate of candidates with the current President who announces the names of candidates at the spring meeting.
  5. Remind all candidates to complete biographical information and “position statements” to be submitted to the Chairperson and to the Editor of The Social Studies Texan.
  6. At the spring meeting, have all candidates photographed for the featured article in The Texan to be included in the issue preceding the fall conference. For any candidates not in attendance, committee members should arrange for print-ready photographs to be provided to the Editor by the candidate.

 

April/May/June:

  1. Monitor to be sure that all candidate information has been received by the Chairperson and the Editor of The Texan by June 1st.
  2. Prepare the ballot for on-site voting and for early or absentee voting.

 

July/ August:

  1. Assemble voting supplies and make sure that ballot box and “I Vote” stickers will be brought to the site of the fall conference. Check with the Executive Secretary about these items.
  2. Create a schedule for committee members to “man” the voting booth and to assist the Chairperson in making certain that the election at the fall conference runs smoothly.
  3. The Chairperson is responsible for absentee or early voting. A ballot will be sent upon request to any member in good standing and will be tallied in the final results as long as it is returned to the Chairperson postmarked no later than two weeks prior to the first day of the fall conference.

 

September/October

  1. Create a poster with photographs of all candidates and the offices for which they are running.
  2. Duplicate sufficient ballots for on-site balloting.
  3. At the fall conference, the committee supervises on-site voting. All committee members should assist in this process.
  4. Under the direction of the Chairperson, the ballots will be tallied at the close of the election. The Chairperson will arrange for at least two “tellers” to observe this process.
  5. The Chairperson will notify the President of election results as soon as all votes are tallied; the President will personally contact all candidates to inform them of the results.
  6. The committee members should collect all voting materials to be stored for the next fall election.

 

November/December:

  1. Consult with Director of Media and Technology about the creation and posting of a nomination form for the next year.
  2. All committee members should continue to encourage TCSS members to consider running for office and should share the names of those who might be interested with the outgoing President who will be the Chairperson of the committee in January.

 

Publications Committee

 

Description:

 

The Publications Committee shall be responsible for the guidelines, printing, and dissemination of the Council’s publications. The Publications Committee shall consist of the Director of Publications and the chairperson of the Editorial Board as co-chairs, and at least four (4) members. Additional duties may be assigned by the President and/or the Executive Board.

 

Responsibilities:

 

  1. Committee members will work with Director of Publications (Editor of The Social Studies Texan) and the Chair of the Editorial Board to plan themes, articles, and assignments for future issues.
  2. Members should solicit articles and information for future issues on an ongoing basis.
  3. Committee members will contribute articles for issues as part of the plan for each issue.
  4. Members of the Editorial Board review submissions for Professional Review section of the publication as requested by the Chair of the Editorial Board.
  5. All members are encouraged to make suggestions for streamlining publication operations, advertising revenue sources, forms, printing, and mailing of publication.
  6. The Chairperson should prepare and forward reports of committee activities as requested by the Recording Secretary one month prior to the fall and spring meetings.

 

Timeline for Publications Committee

 

To Come


Scholarship Committee

 

Description:

 

The Scholarship Committee shall consist of a chairperson and additional members as appointed by the President. The Treasurer of TCSS shall also be a member. The Scholarship Committee shall execute established procedures for bestowing scholarship funds upon two high school seniors each year; two TCSS members who may apply for and be selected to receive the Stalwart Mini-Grant awards; and one TCSS member who may apply for and be selected to receive the Jean Lantz Grant.

 

Responsibilities:

 

  1. Fulfill procedures for the selection of the annual high school scholarships, student teacher scholarships, the Stalwart Mini-Grant honorees, and the Jean Lantz Grant honoree.
    1. Advertise for and solicit applications
    2. Contact committee members about responsibilities and send rubric for selecting grant winners
    3. Circulate applications and rubrics to committee members prior to spring meeting
    4. Decide at spring meeting on student and teacher awards
    5. Specific procedures for student and teacher scholarships:
  • High School Students ($1000/semester, two semesters maximum)
    • Notification of recipients and instructions of appropriate process for reimbursement
    • Follow-up with letter and check if requirements were fulfilled in fall
    • Follow-up in January and review response
    • Follow-up with letter and check for spring semester reimbursement
    • Teacher Grant Recipients ($500 each award)
      • Notify recipients of responsibilities to publish in Texan and present award in form of check
      • Follow-up with recipients if needed
      • Forward article to The Social Studies Texan
  1. Inform the editor of The Social Studies Texan about recipients for articles in the journal.
  2. Maintain permanent data and historical information about the TCSS scholarships.
  3. Chairperson should prepare and forward reports of committee activities as requested by the Recording Secretary prior to the fall and spring meetings.

 

Timeline for Scholarship Committee

 

January

  1. Contact committee members to share responsibilities and send scoring rubric with dates for awards

 

March/April

  1. Prior to spring meeting, circulate applications to committee members with rubric
  2. Meet as a committee during spring TCSS meeting decide scholarship and grant recipients
  3. Notify recipients with instructions and checks to teachers and instructions for reimbursements to students.

 

August

  1. Follow-up with teacher recipients, if requested, for article in The Social Studies Texan.

 

September

  1. Follow-up with students for reimbursement information

 

October

  1. Arrange to publicize information about scholarship application processes in fall/winter Texan by directing applicants to TCSS website


Special Awards Committee

 

Description:

 

The Special Awards Committee shall consist of a chairperson and at least four members appointed by the President. The Special Awards Committee shall execute established procedures for bestowing merited honors on TCSS members who are selected to receive its annual awards.

 

Responsibilities:

 

  1. Publicize application process for the various TCSS Special Awards at annual meetings and on the TCSS web site.
  2. Revise (as needed) the criteria, procedures, and application for the selection of annual TCSS Special Awards recipients.
  3. Cooperate with the President, Conference Committee, and The Texan editor in providing recognition of the TCSS Special Awards recipients.
  4. With approval of the TCSS Executive Board, develop criteria, procedures, and application forms for new award categories.
  5. Provide to the Executive Secretary permanent data and historical information about the TCSS awards and winners.
  6. Encourage qualified TCSS awards recipients to apply for NCSS awards.
  7. Mail/deliver lesson plans of all applicants to the editor of The Texan.
  8. The Chairperson should prepare and forward reports of committee activities as requested by the Recording Secretary one month prior to the fall and spring meetings.

 

Timeline for Special Awards Committee

 

January/February/March

  1. Encourage TCSS award winners to apply for NCSS awards – check on due date and criteria.
  2. Collect and categorize nominations for Special Awards.
  3. Prepare files for new committee members with the following documents: copies of nomination packets by category: current year’s nominees and any previous year’s nominees who have only been considered once; list of nominees and their local councils by category; list of responsibilities of Special Awards Committee Members; copy of timeline criteria/ballot for each category; names, addresses, and telephone numbers of committee members.
  4. Send new nomination forms with the name of the new committee chair to the TCSS Website Coordinator to be placed on the website.

 

Spring Meeting:

  1. Distribute nomination packets of previous year’s holdovers and packets already received to committee members in attendance. Instruct the members about the selection process, including the criteria for each award and the signed ballot due within 30 days of receipt of all nomination packets. Excuse the voting of members in certain award categories if a conflict-of-interest exists.
  2. Devise nomination forms, criteria, and procedures for any new award categories which have been approved by the TCSS Executive Board.
  3. Prepare and submit committee report listing goals. Attend board meeting.

 

April/May/June:

  1. Mail nomination packets and letter of explanation to committee members.
  2. Collect completed, signed ballots from committee members within 30 days of receipt of nomination packets. Contact members who have not sent in their ballots.
  3. Tally the ballots for each award category by criteria rating and by rank. If necessary, narrow the choices to the top two or three, and have a run-off election.
  4. Notify the Special Awards Committee members and president of TCSS of the selected award recipients.
  5. Notify each of the winners by mail or telephone. Send follow-up letter requesting each recipient to prepare a short acceptance speech (2 minutes) for the Awards Luncheon or Reception and give instruction regarding the purchase of additional meal tickets. Each winner will receive a complimentary awards luncheon ticket for himself/herself and three guests.
  6. Send the list of winners and their local councils to The Social Studies Texan editor for inclusion in the fall/winter issue.
  7. Plan for the recognition of the current year’s Special Awards recipients: the announcement of winners at the fall conference, the announcement of winners in The Social Studies Texan and in the fall conference program, and articles about the winners in The Texan.
  • Arrange for introduction of the current year’s recipients by last year’s winners or a member of the Special Awards Committee at the Awards Luncheon or Reception
  • Arrange for presentation of awards at the fall conference: Elementary, Middle School/Junior High, and High School Teacher of the Year Awards – $250, plaque, and pin; Billy Sills Award – plaque and pin; NOVA Award – $250, plaque, and pin.
  • TCSS shall pay for NCSS membership (or extension) for one year for the winners of TCSS Elementary, Middle, and Secondary Award, and the Billy Sills Award.

 

July/August:

  1. Inform each recipient’s local school district superintendent by mail about his/her selection and the recognition plans scheduled for the state conference.
  2. Order plaques for all winners. Order TCSS pin for Billy Sills Award.
  3. Contact last year’s recipients or TCSS Special Awards Committee members about introducing the current year’s winner. Send information from the nomination packets with instructions regarding the location, date, tickets, and length of introduction.

 

September/October:

  1. Make final arrangements for their recognition at the state conference: contact the conference committee person in charge of the luncheon or reception and make arrangements for the tables to be reserved for the current winners and their guests, plus past winners; ask winners to prepare a poster with pictures of the recipient and award category; contact presenters and recipients.
  2. Notify the TCSS Treasurer of winners, and request checks and envelopes to be prepared and given to the Special Awards Committee chair prior to the awards presentation.
  3. At fall meeting committee meeting, review the nomination forms, criteria, and procedures for the ensuing year. Make changes as needed.
  4. Finalize new nomination forms.
  5. Prepare and submit a committee report to the president.

 

November/December:

  1. Collect information about the current year’s award winners to be delivered to the Executive Secretary.

 

Teacher Standards Committee

 

Description:

 

The Teacher Standards Committee shall monitor the State Board of Educator Certification on teacher standards and report to the Executive Board. The Teacher Standards Committee shall consist of a chairperson and at least four (4) members. Whenever it is deemed advisable by the Executive Board, this Committee or its representatives may represent TCSS in matters affecting teaching standards.

 

Responsibilities:

 

1.  Meet as a committee and/or by email communication as needed to complete duties throughout the year.

  1. Monitor all committee meetings of the State Board of Educator Certification. Testify for TCSS as to recommendations for certification standards for social studies professionals. Request to be placed on the mailing list for Board hearings. Contact appropriate personnel at the Texas Education Agency.
  2. Prepare recommendations on teacher standards for the social studies profession and/or proposals for TCSS as requested by the Executive Board.
  3. Chairperson should prepare and forward reports of committee activities as requested by the Recording Secretary one month prior to fall and spring meetings.

 

Technology Committee

 

Description:

 

The Technology Committee shall consist of a chairperson, one co-chair, and at least four (4) members as appointed by the President. The committee shall advocate the expanding use of technology in conference presentations and encourage its integration in social studies classrooms.

 

Responsibilities

 

  1. Advocate the use of technology and to improve communication among the membership through the TCSS website and email.
  2. Disseminate information about the use of the Internet and digital resources, and to advocate their use.
  3. Work with the Publications Committee to provide technology-related articles for The Social Studies Texan and post excerpts from each issue online.
  4. Disseminate information about technology-related training opportunities for educators.
  5. Provide information on current issues affecting technology in the classroom.
  6. Chairperson shall prepare and forward reports of committee activities as requested by the President prior to the fall and spring meetings.

 

 

Textbook/Instructional Materials Review Committee

 

Description:

 

The Textbook/Instructional Materials Review Committee shall participate when appropriate in all aspects of the state textbook adoption process for social studies. This committee shall consist of a chairperson; during adoption cycles at least four (4) members will be added. Criteria for membership of this committee shall include but not be limited to (1) expertise in the subject area for which textbooks/instructional materials may be adopted, (2) experience and/or expertise with the grade level(s) or which texts shall be adopted, (3) no conflict of interest (no paid involvement with a bidding publisher in the current adoption cycle within the last three years).

 

Responsibilities:

 

  1. The purpose of this committee is to review materials in social studies proposed for state adoption and submit recommendations in support of selected materials bid.
  2. This committee will be active during the time of a called adoption for social studies materials.
  3. Following the issuance of a proclamation for materials, the committee shall develop criteria for reviewing materials submitted for adoption in social studies.
  4. Review proclamation and/or materials using designated criteria.
  5. Meet as a group to formulate a consensus evaluation.
  6. Establish evaluation reporting formats for Bills of Particular and/or TCSS Textbook Evaluation Summaries.
  7. Represent TCSS at open hearings in support of all or selected materials submitted if requested to do so by the TCSS President.
  8. Attend meetings of the State Textbook Review Committee and State Board of Education (as well as Open Hearings) concerned with textbook proclamations and adoptions related to social studies. Chairperson could request that committee members appear or speak before the State Board of Education.
  9. Chairperson should prepare and forward reports of committee activities as requested by the Recording Secretary one month prior to fall and spring meetings.

 

TCSS Textbook/Instructional Materials Review Process

Since 1976, the Texas Council for the Social Studies has developed summaries of textbooks and instructional materials submitted for adoption in social studies in Texas. To accomplish this task, the Textbook/Instructional Materials Review Committee is appointed when social studies materials are scheduled to be considered for adoption to analyze submitted materials. The members of the committee are selected for their knowledge as well as experience in teaching the subject areas involved. They represent a diversity of geographic settings and instructional positions.

The process of review begins as soon as the submitted textbooks/materials are placed in the twenty Education Service Centers for public access. Each member of the committee is assigned specific materials to read, insuring that all submissions are read by several people. In addition, publishers are invited to send review copies of their materials to members of the committee. Checklists on the Proclamation and on general social studies issues are completed for each textbook. The committee members then meet for several days to review the findings and to write summaries and Bills of Particular. Bills of Particular are submitted to the Texas Education Agency. The summaries are distributed to members of the State Board of Education, publishers of the textbooks, and are made available to TCSS local councils and members.

Members of the committees are selected to testify in November concerning the materials offered for adoption before the State Board of Education prior to the SBOE’s final selection of textbooks for consideration by school districts in Texas.

Members of the Textbook Review Committees have no vested interest in any textbook being bid other than a concern for appropriateness to instructional settings in Texas.